Bahrain-Merida confirm new team name for 2020

Major changes at the squad for next season as McLaren come on board as a main sponsor

Bahrain-Merida on stage two of the Tour de France 2019 (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There has already been plenty of change at Bahrain-Merida for 2020, as Team Sky founding member Rod Ellingworth takes over at the top.

Ellingworth joining the team coincides with British motorsport giant McLaren stepping up their backing of the squad and become a headline sponsor.

The team has now confirmed they will race under the name Bahrain-McLaren next season, as bike brand Merida steps back after three seasons.

Joint managing director of the team, Milan Erzen, said: “Cycling is developing into an increasingly technical sport, and as Team Bahrain-McLaren we will be well-placed to compete with the best – and to work with our many new partners to challenge the status quo.

“McLaren will contribute greatly to optimiSing technology. Managing human high performance and developing strategic marketing and communication activities with the goal of building a lasting and successful brand in pro cycling.”

At the top of the team, John Allert joins from McLaren as joint managing director as Ellingworth takes over as team principal. Retired British pro Roger Hammond will join the squad as performance director with Charlie Pym from McLaren working as marketing director.

There will also be numerous changes to the medical, therapy, coaching, nutrition and mechanic staff.

Allert said: “As Bahrain-Merida, the team quickly established its credentials in the most elite form of road racing – the UCI WorldTour – becoming the only team ever to score a Grand Tour podium in its debut year, and most recently winning two stages of this year’s Tour de France. As Bahrain McLaren we are excited to build on that legacy, and to work with a variety of technical partners, including Merida, to write a new chapter of success.

“We are confident that professional cycling is entering a great new era, an era in which passion and technology will combine to unleash exciting new possibilities. This is what Team Bahrain McLaren is all about.”

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Merida will continue as bike sponsor for Bahrain, but will no longer be a headline sponsor in the WorldTour.

Ellingworth will also be working with his old mentee Mark Cavendish once more, after previous success at the 2011 World Championships and at Team Sky.

The team have signed Wout Poels and Mikel Landa, with Brits Scott Davies and Fred Wright also joining for 2020

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.